Skip to main content

The Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. Abdominoplasty literally means abdomen changing, and changing the abdominal wall is exactly what it does.

What is the Goal of a Tummy Tuck?

Tummy Tuck Mommy Makeover before and after photos

Tummy Tucks tighten the belly and are one half the Mommy Makeover results seen in the above before and after photos.

The primary goal of Abdominoplasty is to reverse the damage caused by pregnancy or weight gain. During pregnancy and weight gain, the contents of the abdomen expand causing stretching of the abdominal wall. After childbirth and weight loss, when the abdominal contents return to their normal volume, the abdominal wall often remains overstretched and loose. The result is an abdomen that still appears full due to the inability of the abdomen to regain its original tone.

How Does Abdominoplasty Work?

So how exactly does a Tummy Tuck change the abdomen? In order to reverse the damage, all three layers of the abdominal wall are modified: skin, fat and muscle. Let’s discuss the details from the inside out.

The Muscle Repair

Abdominoplasty Before and After Pictures

The Abdominoplasty before and after pictures shown above are an example of the muscle repair, fat removal and skin tightening potential of the Tummy Tuck.

Everyone knows the more exercise we do, the stronger our muscles get. The muscles of the abdominal wall are no different, but they have another job. They also support the abdominal contents. While exercise definitely helps, the resting support for the guts comes from the fascia, the tough case around the muscles.

Fascia is the tissue that forms the tendons that attach muscle to bone. It also surrounds the soft muscle fibers to form a tough outer encasement. When the abdominal contents expand, like during pregnancy or weight gain, the entire abdominal wall stretches. This includes the tough fascia, and the deformation rarely reverses once the weight is lost.

Abdominoplasty repairs the muscle fascia, tightens the resting muscle and flattens the belly. As long as the internal volume has been reduced, the muscular foundation of the abdomen can be repaired. The changes are significant, especially when preceded with proper diet and exercise. The flatter the muscular foundation, the flatter the abdomen.

Fat Removal

The fat layer rests on the repaired muscle. The thicker the layer, the more it pushes the skin out. The majority of the abdominal fat is below the belly button. This fat is removed during an Abdominoplasty. Occasionally, a disproportionate collection of fat exists above the belly button. This fat is also removable; however, this fat also carries the blood supply for the new, tighter abdominal skin. Removing it during a Tummy Tuck can jeopardize the skin, so often the upper abdominal wall fat is removed with Liposuction later, after the Abdominoplasty has healed.

Liposuction is often recommended in conjunction with a Tummy Tuck to remove disproportionate fat from the sides and lower back to improve body proportions. Liposuction away from the blood supply of the abdominal skin is safe and predictable.

Skin Tightening

Tummy Tuck Before and After Pictures Abdominoplasty

The above Tummy Tuck before and after photos show the improvement in resting muscle tone and skin tightening.

The final step for Abdominoplasty is skin tightening. An incision placed low across the hips removes excess skin. While excess skin is pulled down and removed.,the belly button is left attached to the muscle to preserve its own blood supply. Once the excess skin is removed, a new button hole is made to expose your belly button.

Tummy Tuck Consultations

Ultimately, the decision to undergo Abdominoplasty is made after careful consideration of the pros and cons, in consultation with a qualified and experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

In the San Francisco Bay Area call (925) 943-6353 to schedule a private consultation appointment. It’s essential to prioritize safety, predictability, realistic expectations and individual health when contemplating any Cosmetic Surgery. While the Internet can offer many resources, there is still no substitute for a careful, in-person consultation.

(925) 943-6353
Book an Appointment